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Saturday, 10 April 2021

White House's border coordinator Roberta S. Jacobson RESIGNS after just a month on the job as Biden struggles to contain a migration surge with the most unaccompanied minors crossing the border in history

 The White House's border coordinator will resign at the end of the month amid a historic surge in migrants at the southern border. 

Roberta S. Jacobson, the former ambassador to Mexico who was Biden's border 'czar' on the National Security Council, announced the move in an interview with The New York Times.

She praised Biden's efforts to 'repair and recast' the nation's immigration system and slammed Donald Trump. 

'They continue to drive toward the architecture that the president has laid out: an immigration system that is humane, orderly and safe,' she said in a brief interview. 'I leave optimistically. The policy direction is so clearly right for our country. 

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called Jacobson's work 'an invaluable contribution.'

'Consistent with her commitment at the outset to serve in the Administration's first 100 days, Ambassador Jacobson will retire from her role as Coordinator at the end of this month,' he said in a statement Friday. 

Jacobson's resignation comes amid growing pressure for Vice President Kamala Harris to visit the border, 16 days after the White House said she would be leading the effort.

Sullivan said Harris continues to lead efforts related to the border, showing the importance the administration places on the issue.

'President Biden has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the Administration's work on our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, a testament to the importance this administration places on improving conditions in the region. The Vice President is overseeing a whole-of-government approach supported by outstanding public servants,' he said.  

Customs and Border Protection revealed yesterday that March saw the highest number of migrant children crossing the border in history. 

Jacobson has argued that the migration problem needs to be addressed at the source, in Central America, while many have suggested that Biden's reversal of Trump policies has caused a flood of new arrivals. 

She briefed reporters in March, where she echoed the administration's message the U.S. border with Mexico. 

But when she tried to translate that message into Spanish, she reversed its meaning, saying, 'La frontera no esta cerrada,' which in English means 'the border is not closed.' 

Later in the briefing, she corrected herself and translated the message correctly. 

White House border coordinator Roberta Jacobson on the National Security council will resign at the end of the month amid a historic surge in migrants at the southern border; above she attends in meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on the border last month

White House border coordinator Roberta Jacobson on the National Security council will resign at the end of the month amid a historic surge in migrants at the southern border; above she attends in meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on the border last month

Jacobson announced the move in a New York Times interview on Friday

Jacobson announced the move in a New York Times interview on Friday

Meanwhile, Arizona's Republican attorney general said Thursday that Harris has not responded to his requests to visit the crisis-hit border, as Republicans released video of migrants crossing the Rio Grande just a few feet behind them. 

'I guess if you were a philosopher you would say no response is a very loud response because we've not received any response,' Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview with Fox.

Harris was named border czar last month by President Joe Biden as the administration faces a growing emergency with record numbers of illegal immigrants arriving in the U.S. and border facilities quickly becoming overcrowded and understaffed.

Jacobson praised Harris in her interview with The New York Times.

'I briefed and worked in support of the vice president's leadership on this issue,' she said. 'Nobody could be more delighted to see the vice president take on that role. It didn't have anything to do with my decision.'

In the 16 days since she was given responsibility, the vice president hasn't visited the southern border or addressed the crisis in any way - despite mounting pressure.

During a trip spearheaded by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday, Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana said: 'Forty percent of our Border Patrol agents are busy processing people and changing diapers.'

'It means that they cannot do their job protecting the border. It means that Mexican cartels are controlling the border. This is a national security and humanitarian crisis,' she continued during a press conference at the border. 

Data released Thursday shows the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is vastly higher in 2021 compared to 2020, which saw a decrease in crossings. Crossing have reached an all-time high under Biden

Data released Thursday shows the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is vastly higher in 2021 compared to 2020, which saw a decrease in crossings. Crossing have reached an all-time high under Biden

Here, families wait to board a bus to a processing facility. Biden claims he is sending the vast majority of adults and families back to their home countries as his administration pushes the message: 'The border is closed'

Here, families wait to board a bus to a processing facility. Biden claims he is sending the vast majority of adults and families back to their home countries as his administration pushes the message: 'The border is closed' 

Republican House Whip Steven Scalise led a group of 10 GOP lawmakers to the border. He released a video where migrants can be seen in the background being apprehended by border patrol

Republican House Whip Steven Scalise led a group of 10 GOP lawmakers to the border. He released a video where migrants can be seen in the background being apprehended by border patrol

Rep. Scalise visits the southern border as migrant crisis worsens
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Hundreds more migrants arrived over the southern border overnight from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador

Hundreds more migrants arrived over the southern border overnight from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador

Republican lawmakers have been flooding to the south to assess the situation – holding two separate group trips to the border this week.

GOP House Whip Steve Scalise released a video on Twitter around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning where, in the background, children migrants were seen apprehended and escorted to processing facilities by border patrol agents after they ran across the U.S. border from Mexico. 

Scalise led a group of 10 GOP lawmakers to McAllen, Texas Thursday evening to tour holding facilities and assess the growing border crisis.

'LIVE from the border,' the Louisiana representative wrote on Twitter at 1:37 a.m. 'This is out of control. It's the middle of the night. We've seen dozens of children flow freely across the border in just the past few minutes.'

'This is the reality of Joe Biden's disastrous amnesty agenda,' Scalise said. 

Vice President Harris has jetted all over the U.S. without visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, despite being named border czar last month

Vice President Harris has jetted all over the U.S. without visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, despite being named border czar last month

In the video, Scalise said he witnessed about 100 migrants cross in one hour.

The trip comes as the number of unaccompanied migrant minors arriving at the border has reached its highest number ever in U.S. history.

Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee Rodney Davis of Illinois, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul of Texas, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes of California and House Republican Conference Secretary Richard Hudson of North Carolina joined Scalise on the trip.

Also in two are Reps. French Hill and Steve Womack of Arkansas, Bob Latta of Ohio, Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Steve Stivers of Ohio and Ann Wagner of Missouri.

Scalise said before departing Thursday that the trip was also to find out what Biden is 'hiding' in regards to the emergency at the southern border – as his administration continues to largely block media from touring the overflowing facilities.

And GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, who also led a group of Republican lawmakers to the border for a two-day trip this week, slammed the scenes during a Wednesday press conference as a 'catastrophe'.

'In all my years in Congress, this has been the most disturbing field tour that I've ever taken,' California Rep. Tom McClintock told reporters.

During that round table, the lawmakers recounted seeing crying children – including one girl who has not spoken following trauma from gang rape. 

The border crisis shows no signs of abating for Biden, with the number of unaccompanied children arriving in the US soaring. 

Some facilities are running low on food, and there are reports of children going hungry and sleeping on the floor. 

In one facility, human rights lawyers say children only have access to showers intermittently. 

The Biden administration opening up two more emergency intake sites for migrant kids 12 years old and under in Pennsylvania and Michigan which together will be able to hold nearly 900 kids, according a government statement.

A lost migrant child, crying and scared, was found by a Border Patrol agent on his way home. The boy said he was abandoned by the group he was with

A lost migrant child, crying and scared, was found by a Border Patrol agent on his way home. The boy said he was abandoned by the group he was with

And it was also revealed on Thursday that Biden's Department of Health and Human Services is spending $60million a week to house the child migrants in 10 shelters across the country.

Figures seen by The Washington Post show the cost of caring for one of these youths is $290 a day, and the 7,700 available beds have already been completely overwhelmed.

President Joe Biden also tried to characterize the influx as normal seasonal upticks during his late March press conference.

'It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March - it happens every year,' Biden said at the time. 

However, top House Republican, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, tweeted Thursday: 'President Biden said the surge was seasonal. But the #'s don't lie – 172k migrants were taken into custody last month, a two-decade high.' 

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Republicans are actually to blame for the spike, and conditions are improving under President Biden. 

'The fact is that we're on a good path at the border under the leadership of President Biden,' Pelosi insisted during an event in California on Thursday.

She added: 'It's about restructuring how we do what is happening there, because we were in a very bad situation under the Trump administration.'

The House speaker is helping push the Democratic narrative that former President Donald Trump and Republicans are to blame for the growing crisis at the southern border.

Other critics claim the situation has been exacerbated by Biden rolling back Trump-era policies and vowing not to turn away any unaccompanied minors who arrive at the border. 

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